Live: Courtney Love Has All Eyes on Her at Hiro Ballroom

courtneylove_september6.jpg
Jenna Sauers

Courtney Love
Hiro Ballroom, Maritime Hotel
Tuesday, September 6

Better than: Listening to Celebrity Skin alone in your bedroom again.

"I need a glass of wine," Courtney Love announced as she took the stage, twirling a big paper parasol through the air around her. "I need wine. Right now."

The Hole founder, widow, mother, and world's most famous alumna of the Nelson, New Zealand, College for Girls wore knee socks, black patent leather flats, something that was either a lacy girdle or an unusually sexy skort, a cream silk faux-wrap blouse that often fell open to reveal a black bra, and a black vest. Her silver-toned bracelet and rings glinted in the flashbulbs that seasoned the air; there was a phalanx of photographers in the front row, and it seemed nearly every other attendee wielded a camera phone. Because how Courtney Love looks is kind of part of it, because even for former addicts, the effects of the disease are written on the body, because she is a woman, and we evaluate women on their physical appearance constantly and regardless of professional competence, because this woman in particular had been enlisted for this party as much to be seen playing as to play--so that the right sort of people might spend Fashion Week telling each other, "I saw Courtney Love at that thing"--I will say that Courtney Love, for what it's worth, looked good. Quite good. Clear skin. Definitive proof that no matter what the women's magazines say, cellulite is genetic. She plucked at the vest. "I'm wearing the first piece of swag I ever got," she said. "Calvin Klein, 1990. It still fits."

Maybe something about the period jogged her mind. "Shall we do an old one?" she asked. The crowd--fashion industry folks who'd donned their six-inch heels and designer leather to come, at no monetary cost to themselves, to see Courtney Love play at a modeling agency's birthday party, Brought To You By DeLeon Tequila--didn't exactly "roar," or "scream," or "go wild." They were too cool for that. They instead verbalized a kind of assent. "You fucking '90s revivalists," Love spat into the mic. And then she played the first chords of "Violet."

These days, maybe your best chance of seeing Courtney Love perform is during one Fashion Week or another. Brands treat the singer as a kind of human jukebox, ready to belt out covers of the Stones or Lady Gaga on command in her tremendous hacksaw of a voice; reporters on the coke-and-champagne beat cherish her because she will say anything. (Last night, she did none of the Lady but two of the Stones: "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Under My Thumb," which she introduced as "the most sexist song; it's so funny.") Out of the deal, Love gets a large audience, if a borrowed one, containing a few Eastern European teenagers who were in diapers when Celebrity Skin came out. (At the back of the stage, a tall girl with long, dark hair spent the show chewing gum and texting.) But Love seems nonetheless to enjoy the attention--and, no doubt, the appearance fees. She made it clear that she's a team player. Love thanked the head of the modeling agency, a short man named Scott Lipps; she thanked the promoter (and the man who she seemed to believe was responsible for getting her more red wine), Nur Khan; she thanked the tequila company. She also discussed a particularly touching interview she'd read with Reba McEntire, called her daughter Frances Bean "fucking beautiful," and claimed she wouldn't play both "Violet" and "Miss World," we had to pick. But then she played them both anyway.

"And to think you could have had Mötley Crüe," she joked. (Vince Neil had originally been scheduled to headline the party.) Love closed with "Northern Star" and then said, "You know, for really big modeling contracts, come to me." Before the last note had even really faded, she was gone.

Critical bias: I still hold out hope that Eric Erlandson and Courtney Love might one day be able to be in the same room together.

Random notebook dump: Oh, and Adrian Grenier was there.

Set list:
Sympathy for the Devil
Skinny Little Bitch
Celebrity Skin
For Once In Your Life
Violet
Malibu
Codine
Under My Thumb
Never Go Hungry Again
Miss World
Honey
Northern Star

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13 comments
MeMet
MeMet

That may be right!: the truth is that marijuana medication and therapy illustrates its effects and it cannot be tucked quietly away for very long.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Semi di Cannabis

VonLmo
VonLmo

Type your comment here.christ what a reply by Courtney to the article!!!!!!!!...but it seems so tailor made to make her look like the victum that i bet she paid 30 k to have this written...she has great publicists...why dont they talk about how everyone has disowned her ,her family ,her kid,she tried to steal her daughters trust fund and had to pay a million to get out of jail,i believe the lawyer who forged something got 6 months and disbarred,she never pays for anything ,the only way she gets a record deal is to release an "hidden unreleased cassette of nirvana working on a song" she never tours,her band left her cause she is an asshole ..she supplied the heroin that killed her bass player....so this is a fluff piece to make her look even more fucked up than johnny thunders...but at least thunders worked regularly...she wants to be the girl keith richards...but ask anyone today who she is and no one knows....what a joke..

jek
jek

Maybe the longest, angriest   comment in history about a review that is essentially positive.

Courtneymichelle99
Courtneymichelle99

scott played drums and was good, i recieved ZERO appearance fee, i did it as a favor, to nur who is my friend,  based on a panicked 6 am call, Micko had literally gotten off the plane Heathrow to JFK and Shawn too  LAX to JFK,  literally,  scotts drumming was really  really good or id have booted him.  Im curious why you think  i "borrowed" an audience?   Last month we headlined  120,000 people in Moscow,  and Eric  has been called for the last 3 months since i spoke to an old manager im very fond of who definitively  was aggresively anti "reunion"  a word and concept i LOATHE and refuse to participate in,  btw  fuck how i "look" as co author of  every song but the  2 covers and "Codine " ( not Codeine,  its by Buffy St Marie and Blues are super treachoruous for white people , to look like ass bar bands, but i have CERTAINLY earned the right to sing  them)  as far as "cellulite"  1, i dont actually have it, 2. why mention it, 3 the only time i have ever seen cellulite mentioned in a live review which this is  not, this is a cynical and quite sexist assesment of  my motivation  for  helping a friend, end of,. Nothing Cynical in it, i had fun, i didnt put my guts into it,  we didnt have time, and thew audience was a little cool, so?  i dont do my job for audience love, otherwise id have chosen a genre i loathe unless im subverting it as a vocation  : pop. ha ha, me the pop star!  this isnt a review nor should it be, so why write anything ?  yoru justbeing cynical , second guessing things  you really know fuck all about  ( ok so i was told Deleon Tequila  were paying for Mickos flight, and if eric is actually ever going to  be in a room  which hes sure  being passive agressive about then i need micko,. because  micko has zero guile and mostly is the most talented rythym guitar player and co writer i have ever had the honour to have )   cellulite? hmmm,. yes i recall it now, it was a scree, a  sf examiner,  unreal surreal  assesment of my body, my face,  my "ugly hagged out crackhead looking chick band"  and my "cellulite" from 05 , fillmore, i was  gobsmacked, id never even heard of a "review " where a womans  physical appearance was judged  such  in an extreme negativity and the music she played was not actually mentioned, excepting to say; if i recall "  Courtney Love is a Horse, i dont mean her voice is hoarse i mean she should be sent to the glue factory"  wow. i mean it was wow i should ? do what with this, the above is a far cry ( gee i got fat at that time how DARE i!!!! far better to be on drugs,! and i dont believe that as you did not repeat i asked for "HALF"  a glass of wine, because i am TEMPERENT that means i don't abuse narcotics in any way . nor do i drink spirits, i don't like them,  HALF a glass of red wine is fine by me and should be fine by anyone who isn't some  aa nazi, which ive been out of necessity to kick drug habits of the past  way back in 2004!  yep thats when  they were kicked, and were in what? fall  2011, and your  first paragraph discusses my  face and my ravages,  and my SKIN?  Am i now a model?  did i ever claim to be a world class beauty?  ive never depended on my looks and thank GOD for that because  at 47 i only feel i look better and better the higher my self esteem and the more  abundant my discipline,  you never finished the "ravages of my addictions" either, you  semi lead us . the readers and unfortunate subject who occasionally googles self , never fun but never a dull moment,  into some comment on my drug ravages and a blurry comment on cellulite or not!  what ravages?  i dont have them im extraordianrily lucky, that way,  my genetics  didnt give me much in terms of  family,  in fact im stuck with sociopaths and  psychopaths ( in my bio father,  thats what several  high end bythat i mean GOOD  psychiatrists analysing his behaviour have informed me from  giving me a 3 year old  LSD to  paying my 14 year old friend to have sex with him, to being this crazed person we all ignore with his  kurt-was-murdered- vocal minority army, shame shame shame but id ont know the guy  however, possibly im sure,  actually id di  obtain a  sort of rude health from him,  good spleen, liver,  lungs, theyd better be with my smoking habit!) listen i dont have much time for your crappy writing, as im off to see the self proclaimed "most powerful man in the republican party"  hmmm....  but next time you put fingers to keypad you might want to pick up a copy of the NYT "elements of style" classic,  as  im no professional writer, but you mustve been paid ( more than i was last night, "appearance fee" sorry, not last night,  it was favourbank and fun)  for the above and its mediocre, misleading and crappy , really, i write like crap,   but i really am quite intellegent and i really do appreciate a good whacky  peice of Pynchon, and  your not even at  split infinitives, big qiestion,  did you see cellulite or not? where are my ravages?  they are of my spirit you fool. and if you cannot ask yourself why then go rock out to the foo fighters. courtney love cobain

57pb57
57pb57

Probably the biggest venue she'll ever play again. If we ' re lucky! Sit down old woman, sit down.

Mauymauy
Mauymauy

You guys neglected to say Scott Lipps, the owner of One Management, was on the drums!!!

Deerc39
Deerc39

god you're sad.  you make some really great points but then ruin them with  nonsensical non-sequiturs like 'she supplied the heroin that killed her bass player!'. 

and to even consider that she didn't write that screed reveals your glaring ignorance.  writing like that is the only 'talent' she has managed to retain over the years.  people like you just HATE the fact that she has a high IQ (even if she has squandered most of it).  and you yourself seem intelligent, but if you don't wake the fuck up from your sexist trance soon, you'll end up way more irrelevant than Courtney Love has become.     

LisaQ
LisaQ

read the reviews she got for the 3 Hole records released in the 90s and tell me on what illiterate planet is the above article a positive review?  the reviewer even added a critical bias note, you fool! 

critical bias:  courtney, either call eric erlandson or call it a day.  what your team did to the final mixes of some potentially classic songs ('how dirty girls get clean', 'letter to god', 'loser dust' and ESPECIALLY poor 'samantha') is the worst thing to ever happen to your career, you're just too mercurial to have realized it (NOT an insult by the way, moreso a compliment!), which is where eric comes in. 

stupidpuppy
stupidpuppy

wow, this wandering stream of consciousness, it's breathtaking.  The incoherence is so rich it creates its own coherence. it's pretty clear to me there is some kind of psychotic brilliance here.  Courtney, you are the sexiest insane person on the planet.

Tbear
Tbear

I enjoyed the above comments. I saw Courtney Love's show last year during Fashion Week and she was awesome to see live.  Actually saw her at the Chanel SoHo store opening after party in the night before and she looked so elegant I didn't realize it actually was her until I saw her the next day on stage. At least she can write, play guitar and sing and doesn't use Auto-Tune.

Anon
Anon

Somewhere in that giant wall of text, Courtney has a point about purchasing the "Elements of Style."

LisaQ
LisaQ

don't you understand that pulling the age card makes you way lower and grosser and more retarded than she is?  hello???

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